Gov­ern­ment wants cars man­u­fac­tured be­fore 1977 to be MoT free – and the con­sul­ta­tion into this has re­opened. Time to have your say!

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Mur­ray Scullion­mot­mad­ness

CCW is call­ing on read­ers to help end the MoT mad­ness sur­round­ing clas­sic cars by con­tribut­ing to an on­line con­sul­ta­tion into the ex­ten­sion of the ex­emp­tion from road­wor­thi­ness test­ing. The snag is, the con­sul­ta­tion is only open un­til 2 Novem­ber

The Depart­ment for Trans­port is moot­ing a con­sul­ta­tion on road­wor­thi­ness test­ing for ve­hi­cles of his­toric in­ter­est – with the aim that ve­hi­cles made more than 40 years ago will not need an an­nual in­spec­tion. This would lead to a fur­ther 331,000 cars reg­is­tered be­tween 1960 and 1977 be­ing ex­empted from manda­tory an­nual test­ing.

The Gov­ern­ment cites the rea­son for the con­sul­ta­tion as ‘due to EU Di­rec­tive changes’. These new rules al­low mem­ber states to ex­empt ve­hi­cles of his­tor­i­cal in­ter­est ( VHIs) from test­ing if they are at least 30 years old, no longer in pro­duc­tion, and have not had sub­stan­tial changes made to them.

A spokesper­son ex­plains: ‘De­spite the UK’s choice to leave the EU on 23 June, un­til exit ne­go­ti­a­tions are con­cluded, the UK re­mains part of the EU with all the rights and obli­ga­tions. Dur­ing this pe­riod the Gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to im­ple­ment and ap­ply EU leg­is­la­tion. The out­come of these ne­go­ti­a­tions will de­ter­mine what ar­range­ments ap­ply in re­la­tion to EU leg­is­la­tion once the UK has left the EU.’

In its propo­si­tions, the Gov­ern­ment says there are five po­ten­tial out­comes. Num­ber five is the most wor­ry­ing. It sug­gests ex­empt­ing 30-year-old cars from manda­tory an­nual test­ing.

‘It’s dan­ger­ous – rank stu­pid­ity’

These pro­posed re­forms have been con­demned by many ex­perts and are al­ready be­ing re­ferred to as a ma­jor step back in safety.

CCW’s tech­ni­cal guru Fuzz Town­shend says: ‘This looks 90% done, and it’s dan­ger­ous. Let’s get our acts to­gether and make sure our cars are up to scratch.’

Mar­kets edi­tor Richard Bar­nett adds: ‘ Words fail me. It’s ab­so­lutely mad – rank stu­pid­ity.’

How­ever, Sir Greg Knight MP, chair­man of the All Party Par­lia­men­tary His­toric Ve­hi­cles Group wel­comes the pro­posal. He says: ‘The mod­ern MoT test is in­creas­ingly un­suit­able for clas­sics. Own­ers will re­main re­spon­si­ble for see­ing that their his­toric ve­hi­cle re­mains road­wor­thy. It makes sense to move to­wards one date for defin­ing a his­toric ve­hi­cle.’

The DfT claims that reg­is­tered ve­hi­cles be­tween 40 and 56 years old were in­volved in 263 ac­ci­dents that led to an in­jury in 2014. You can read the Gov­ern­ment’s con­sul­ta­tion pro­pos­als on­line.

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